When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A bookworm's breakfast -- 18 (Summer reading for boys + Little Free Libraries)

Sometime last summer, I remember reading a post from a blogger in the United States who wrote about a "secret library" her two young sons had been thrilled to find while out for a bike ride in their neighbourhood one day.  It turned out that this library was part of the international Little Free Library movement, which encourages citizens to build miniature weatherproof "houses", install them on posts on their properties, and fill them with books.  Visitors to the little libraries are free to borrow and return these books, or take them and leave other books in their place.   I loved this story when I read it, and thought the little library project was a really wonderful way to encourage literacy and community.   I had never seen anything like it anywhere I've lived.

I tucked that idea away in my mind, filed under "great ideas I'd love to try", and then last week, I became really excited when I was reading our local newspaper and a photograph of a Little Free Library installed in the front yard of someone in our community jumped out at me.  The accompanying article described how some local citizens are working to promote the movement in Kitchener-Waterloo, and provided a website to visit to learn more and to get involved.

I'm planning on ordering one of the little house kits that a local woodworker and contractor have created, so that our family can build a Little Free Library of our own.  I have visions of filling it with gently used children's books, and then watching joyfully as the neighbourhood children discover it and hopefully make good use of it.  If you live in Kitchener-Waterloo and would like to become involved in this worthwhile community project, you can visit the Little Libraries of KW website for more information.  If you live elsewhere, you can look at this map to see if there are Little Free Library locations near you! 

Summer provides a great opportunity for kids to find pleasure in reading books of their own choosing.   Due to some heavy rain we've had around here lately, Noah and Will have had ample time to discover some engaging new reads.  I asked them to share those titles here today, in case anyone is looking for some good books for their boys to enjoy in their free time. 
Noah's (age 11) recent favourites:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
Garfield comics by Jim Davis
Up next on Noah's reading list are these books:
Itch by Simon Mayo
House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
Will's (age 9) recent favourites:
A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Big Nate: Game On by Lincoln Pierce
Canada's Weather by Chris St. Clair
(I saw this book at Costco this week and just had to buy it for Will, who has faithfully watched The Weather Network in fascination every morning for years!  He thinks it's a very interesting book.)
Weird Zone: Sports  (Owlkids Books)
And up next on Will's reading list:
Sidekicked by John David Anderson
Whether you find books at your local public library or bookstore, in a little free library somewhere in your neighbourhood, or simply by swapping personal collections with family members and friends, I hope reading and discovering new characters, worlds, and ideas will be a happy part of your family's summer!  :)
If you're still looking for more book recommendations, you might enjoy some of the earlier editions of A bookworm's breakfast, which you'll find here.


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